Re: Genuine question
"stupidly expensive aircraft."
Latest (that I could find) cost per unit (January 2017):
F-35B (the version we're getting): $122.8 million
F-35C (the cat and trap version): $121.8 million.
We're getting 138 planes so for cats and traps to be cost effective off the bat would require BAe Systems to install cats and traps to both ships for under $138 million. Does that seem likely to you?